Autoimmune Disease Research and Development
Developing biomarkers and siRNA therapeutics for MG
IGBT is a research and development Texas company formed in 2014. It’s primary mission is to develop biomarkers and siRNA therapeutics for autoimmune diseases like myasthenia gravis (MG).
IGBT is developing biomarkers for myasthenia gravis (MG) by using fluorophore conjugated to acetylcholine receptor (AChR) as a probe to identify by flowcytometry potentially pathogenic peripheral blood AChR specific B cells. This assay also has utility as a biomarker of disease response to treatment. This rapid test (in few hours) that does not require radioactivity, would greatly aid in the diagnosis of MG. The frequency of AChR specific B cells, as a marker of disease severity will also expedite the clinical development of novel and existing therapeutics for patients with MG. Also this biomarker will identify previously categorized seronegative patients with AChR autoimmune MG.
IGBT is developing a novel and efficient method to treat MG by using siRNA targeting the C2 gene involved in classical complement pathway, thus preserving the alternative complement pathway to protect against microbial infection. The proof of concept study has been completed in the mouse model of MG. This technology will have a major impact in treating MG with C2 siRNA with limited side effects.
IGBT was granted a three year grant from Association Francaise Centre les Myopathies (The French MDA) to study “AChR and MuSK specific B cell biomarkers in MG”. This network proposed study headed by Dr. Christadoss will involve scientists and neurologists from IGBT, Duke University, Yale University, UPMC, INSERM and CNRS, Central South China University and Istanbul University.
IGBT acquired the patent license from UT to develop, obtain FDA approval and market the AChR-MG B cell biomarker kit.
Taking Aim at Myasthenia Gravis
4/1/2014, News from MDA Quest. “Christadoss and his colleagues have chosen to work on a part of the immune system known as "complement," a group of small proteins found in the blood that swing into action when the immune system calls on them. Like other parts of the immune system, complement is useful most of the time. But it also can be a problem, helping the immune system to mount a misguided attack on the body’s own tissues in MG and other autoimmune diseases.”
“In MDA-supported research published 2013, Christadoss and other investigators showed that mice in which the MG-like disease was well underway benefited greatly from treatment with siRNA against C2. Animals treated once a week for five weeks showed significantly improved strength, more functional acetylcholine receptors and diminished attacks on muscle cell memb ranes”
“I definitely expect changes in MG treatment within the next few years," Christadoss says. "I'm very optimistic about it.” To read the complete article, visit: http://quest.mda.org/article/taking-aim-myasthenia-gravis